(His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada)
So today is the disappearance day of my Guru Mahārāja. As I told you that sādhavo jīva vā mara vā. There was a nice story the other day I told you that a sage is giving different kinds of blessings to different types of persons. So to a king's son, a prince, he blessed, rāja-putra ciraṁ jīva: "You are a king's son, a prince. You live forever." And muni-putra, the son of a saintly person, he blessed him, mā jīva mā jīva: "You don't live." Rāja-putra ciraṁ muni-putra mā jīva. And sādhu, devotees, he blessed him, jīva vā mara vā: "Either you live or you die, as you like." And there was a butcher, he blessed him, mā jīva mā mara: "You don't die, don't live." So these words are very significant. That I have already explained, still I am explaining. A prince, he's enjoying sense, that's all. He has got enough facility for sense enjoyment. So his next life is hellish. Because if you indulge in sex life, then Kṛṣṇa will give you facility to have sex life three times in an hour, just like the pigeons, the monkeys, the sparrows, they are very sexually strong. You have seen it. So the facility is given. So princely order, they are after sense enjoyment. So he's blessed that "Better you live forever, because after your death, you do not know what is going to happen to you. You are going to get a hellish life. Better you live for some time. Go on with your enjoyment." And muni-putra mā jīva. Brahmacārī, working under the guidance under strict disciplinary guidance, of a spiritual master, he is blessed, mā jīva, "You better die. Because you are so trained to enter into the kingdom of God, so why should you take so much trouble? Better you die and go back to Godhead." Ma jīva. And a devotee he blessed, jīva va maro va: "My dear devotee, either you live or die, the same thing." And the butcher, he blessed him, ma jīva ma mara: "You don't live, don't die." What he's to do? His living condition is so abominable. From the morning, he has to slaughter so many animals, see the bloodstain, the ghastly scene. That is his livelihood. So what a horrible life this is. So "Don't live. And don't die also." Because after death, oh, he is going to be in so much hellish condition, nobody can describe. So both lives, living condition and death, after death, his condition is very horrible.
Anyway, apart from others, the devotee, for him, appearance and disappearance the same thing. Just like when my spiritual master appeared at Jagannātha Purī... He was the son of a very big government officer, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. He was magistrate, government officer. In those days a magistrate is a big officer in the government, practically next to governor. And Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was in charge of the Jagannātha temple. That is the system in Jagannātha Purī. The manager in charge of the temple is the district magistrate. So there was a Ratha-yātrā festival, and the car was passing in front of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's house. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's name was Kedaranath Datta. When he was magistrate, he was known as K.N. Datta. Kedaranath Datta. So the car stopped before his house, and at that time, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, a child in the lap of his mother. The mother took the opportunity of rising on the car. She was magistrate's wife, so she had the facility. Immediately, people gave her way to go on the top of the car and place the child on the lotus feet of Jagannātha. And there were many garlands. One garland fell upon him, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, blessings. This was one of the... There were so many other things.
When he was a child two, three years old, he ate one mango fruit which was kept for offering to the Deity. So his father mildly rebuked him, "Oh, you have done a very wrong thing. It was meant for Deity, and you have taken it. You should not have done it." The child was two or three years old. He took it so seriously that never after that he took mango. Whenever we offered him mango he said, "No, I am offender. I cannot take mango." He was thinking like that, you see. Never in his life he took a mango. He was thinking that "I offended in my childhood by taking the mango of the Deity." This is the characteristic of ācārya. They teach by their life's action that one should be so much determined, that one should not be... A child took the mango, there was no offense. But he took that vow.
Another instance, in my presence. At that time, we were also young men, and one of my Godbrothers, his name is Dr. Oul Bihari Kapoor... He's now retired in Vṛndāvana, last time I saw him. He was also young man, and his wife was also young. So we were sitting together, talking with Guru Mahārāja, and the girl proposed, "My dear master, I want to speak with you." So Guru Mahārāja said, "Yes, you can talk whatever you like." So she said, "I want to talk with you secretly, not in the presence of everyone." Guru Mahārāja said, "No. I cannot talk with you secretly. You can talk in the presence of my all other disciples." So even that girl was just like his granddaughter by age calculation, he refused to talk with a young woman in a secret place. These are the instances.
So in his life he was akhaṇḍa brahmacārī. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura had many other sons, and he was the fifth son. And some of his other brother also, they did not marry. And my Guru Mahārāja, he also did not marry. From the childhood he is strict brahmacārī, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja. And he underwent very severe penances for starting this movement, worldwide movement. That was his mission. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wanted do this. He, 1896, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wanted to introduce this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement by sending this book, Shree Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, His Life and Precepts. Fortunately, that year was my birth year, and by Kṛṣṇa's arrangement, we came in contact. I was born in a different family, my Guru Mahārāja was born in a different family. Who knew that I will come to his protection? Who knew that I would come in America? Who knew that you American boys will come to me? These are all Kṛṣṇa's arrangement. We cannot understand how things are taking place.
In 1936... Today is ninth December, 1938(68). That means thirty-two years ago. In Bombay, I was then doing some business. All of a sudden, perhaps on this date, sometimes between 9 or 10 December. At that time, Guru Mahārāja was indisposed little, and he was staying at Jagannātha Purī, on the seashore. So I wrote him letter, "My dear master, your other disciples, brahmacārī, sannyāsī, they are rendering you direct service. And I am a householder. I cannot live with you, I cannot serve you nicely. So I do not know. How can I serve you?" Simply an idea, I was thinking of serving him, "How can I serve him seriously?" So the reply was dated 13th December, 1936. In that letter he wrote, "My dear such and such, I am very glad to receive your letter. I think you should try to push our movement in English." That was his writing. "And that will do good to you and to the people who will help you." That was his instruction. And then in 1936, on the 31st December—that means just after writing this letter a fortnight before his departure—he passed away. But I took that order of my spiritual master very seriously, but I did not think that I'll have to do such and such thing. I was at that time a householder. But this is the arrangement of Kṛṣṇa. If we strictly try to serve the spiritual master, his order, then Kṛṣṇa will give us all facilities. That is the secret. Although there was no possibility, I never thought, but I took it little seriously by studying a commentary by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura on the Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā the verse vyavasāyātmikā-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (BG 2.41), in connection with that verse, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura gives his commentary that we should take up the words from the spiritual master as our life and soul. We should try to carry out the instruction, the specific instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly, without caring for our personal benefit or loss.
So I tried a little bit in that spirit. So he has given me all facilities to serve him. Things have come to this stage, that in this old age I have come to your country, and you are also taking this movement seriously, trying to understand it. We have got some books now. So there is little foothold of this movement. So on this occasion of my spiritual master's departure, as I am trying to execute his will, similarly, I shall also request you to execute the same order through my will. I am an old man, I can also pass away at any moment. That is nature's law. Nobody can check it. So that is not very astonishing, but my appeal to you on this auspicious day of the departure of my Guru Mahārāja, that at least to some extent you have understood the essence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You should try to push it on. People are suffering for want of this consciousness. As we daily pray about devotees,
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
(I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.)
A Vaiṣṇava, or devotee of Lord, his life is dedicated for the benefit of the people. You know—most of you belong to Christian community— how Lord Jesus Christ, he said that for your sinful activities he has sacrificed himself. That is the determination of devotee of the Lord. They don't care for personal comforts. Because they love Kṛṣṇa or God, therefore they love all living entities because all living entities are in relationship with Kṛṣṇa. So similarly you should learn. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to become Vaiṣṇava and feel for the suffering humanity. So to feel for the suffering humanity, there are different angles of vision. Somebody is thinking of the suffering of the humanity from bodily conception of life. Somebody is trying to open hospital to give relief to the diseased condition. Somebody is trying to distribute foodstuff in poverty-stricken countries or places. These things are certainly very nice, but actual suffering of the humanity is due to lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These bodily sufferings, they are temporary; neither they can be checked by the laws of nature. Suppose if you give some distribution of foodstuff in some poverty-stricken country, that does not mean that this help makes solution of the whole problem. The real beneficial work is to invoke every person to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As soon as he comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness... The same example, as I have given several times, that a rich man's son is loitering in the street, forgetting his father's opulence and property. And somebody, out of sympathy, giving him some food. But other person comes to him and says, "Oh, my dear boy, I know you. You are the son of such and such rich man. Why you are loitering in the street? Come on, I shall take you to your father." So if that gentleman takes that loitering boy to his father, the father is glad, and the boy inherits his father's property, and his whole problem of life becomes solved. This is a crude example. Similarly, all living entities, they are loitering within this universe in different bodies, in different planets, and from time immemorial, without knowing that he belongs to the kingdom of God, he is the direct son of Kṛṣṇa and God, that Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor of everything, and he can enjoy his father's property, and these problems of material conditioned life automatically solved. Just like if you become a rich man, if you can possess millions of dollars, then your poverty is automatically solved. Similarly, if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious and if you act in that way, then all other problems in the material conditional life—solved.
So this is such a nice movement. Ahaṁ tvaṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (BG. 18.66). The Bhagavad-gītā says, the Lord says, people's sufferings are due to his sinful activities. Ignorance. Ignorance is the cause of sinful activity. Just like a man does not know. Suppose a foreigner like me comes in America and he does not know... Because in India... Just like in your country, the car is driven from the right side; in India, I've seen in London also, the car is driven from the left side. So suppose he does not know, he drives the car on the left side and incurs some accident, and he is taken by the police custody. And if he says, "Sir, I did not know that here the car is driven from the right side," that does not make him excused. The law will punish him. So ignorance is the cause of breaking the law or sinful activities. And as soon as you commit some sinful activity, you have to suffer the result. So the whole world is in ignorance, and due to ignorance he's complicated in so many actions and reactions, either good or bad. There is nothing good within this material world; everything is bad. So we have manufactured something good and something bad. Here... Because in the Bhagavad-gītā we understand this place is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). This place is for misery. So how you can say, in miserable condition, how you can say that "This is good" or "This is bad." Everything is bad. So those persons who do not know—the material, conditional life—they manufacture something, "This is good, this is bad," because they do not know everything here is bad, nothing good. One should be very much pessimistic of this material world. Then he can make advance in spiritual life. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). This place is full of miseries, and if you study analytically, you'll find simply miserable condition. Therefore the whole problem is that we should give up our material conditional life, and in Kṛṣṇa consciousness we should try to elevate ourself to the spiritual platform and thereby be promoted to the kingdom of Godhead, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāmaṁ paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6), where going, nobody comes back to this miserable world. And that is the supreme abode of the Lord.
So there are description in the Bhagavad-gītā. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is authorized, very important. Now, you American boys and girls who have taken to this movement, please take it more seriously and... That is the mission of Lord Caitanya and my Guru Mahārāja, and we are also trying to execute the will by disciplic succession. You have come forward to help me. I shall request you all that I shall go away, but you shall live. Don't give up pushing on this movement, and you'll be blessed by Lord Caitanya and His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Goswami Prabhupāda.
Thank you very much.
(Srila Prabhupada's Lecture on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Disappearance Day, Los Angeles, December 9, 1968)